International Red Cross launches initiative to promote the laws of war with partners from the gaming community

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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has launched an initiative aimed at promoting the laws of war within the gaming community. With billions of gamers worldwide, the ICRC sees the gaming community as a powerful supporter in building awareness and support for the rules of war in real life. The initiative aims to create a community of supporters around the globe who will help spread knowledge about the rules of war and help ensure that the neutral, impartial, and independent nature of humanitarian activities is understood by a broader audience.

There are about 100 armed conflicts being fought globally, involving about 60 states and more than 100 non-state armed groups. Despite progress made to reduce civilian harm on the battlefield, massive suffering in conflicts continues, though it’s clear that greater respect for international humanitarian law helps preserve a minimum of humanity during armed conflict.

The initiative recognizes that gamers can be powerful supporters in achieving a better understanding of the importance and value of the laws of war. Gamers are current or future fighters, members of the military, CEOs, and politicians. Video games can influence users’ perceptions about what soldiers are permitted to do during war and may also influence the way combatants behave during today’s armed conflicts.

To show support for the initiative and to promote respect for the laws of war, gamers can:

  • Sign the ICRC petition to signal interest in promoting the laws of war in video games.
  • Follow the live stream about the rules of war on 15 April.
  • Play Arma 3 Laws of War DLC, and our new Laws of War Fortnite mode (Code: 1685-6108-3920)

As part of the initiative, the ICRC will host a live stream on 15 April in which streamers from around the globe will follow a new set of rules in existing first-person shooter games and play by selected rules of war. Gamers can also play a new Fortnite capture-the-flag creative mode that has incorporated basic rules of war ideas into the game. Additionally, the ICRC will explore innovative ways to harness the power of using video games to fundraise for its operations around the globe.

“We’re working to create a shift in the way players want to experience first-person shooter games. We want them to learn something about the importance and real-life meaning of the Geneva Conventions without spoiling the fun of the game,” said Christian Rouffaer, the head of project for Arma 3 at the ICRC.

The ICRC previously partnered with the gaming studio Bohemia Interactive for its Arma 3 Laws of War DLC in 2017, and created the first-ever “Liferun” mode on Fortnite creative mode in 2020 to inject gameplay and messaging about international humanitarian law.

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